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Taiwan with kids – II

14 Mar

We decided to take it slow on our second day and spent the morning relaxing in our apartment loft.

I went supermarket shopping and got some supplies, cooked for ds2 porridge and entertained ds1 while ds2 napped.

*supermarkets are mainly 7eleven and family marts

We headed to the Taipei Grand Mosque by taxi. We tried to walk and take the bus but we kind of got lost. Since it was pretty late, we headed to the nearest restaurant for lunch. Indonesian food today.

After a sumptuous and affordable meal, we headed over the street to Da’an Park. It was part of the plans to visit Da’an Park playground but I realised that the park was huge. Reminded me a little of a park I visited in Paris, it was rather hilly and scenic. On our way to the playground, we passed an ecological pond which was like no other pond I’ve seen even in Dublin where there were many swans in the pond. I loved the pond! There were so many different types of birds, terrapins and fish. What I really liked were the birds. It’s like their home and the birds were not afraid of human. They came close enough to have a good look.

After spending some time at the pond, we headed to the playground. I wasn’t prepared for the crowd and the massive ground it covered. Ds1 was looking for sand from the moment we entered the park and when I mentioned playground he immediately thought sand playground. I wasn’t so sure but to my surprise there was so much sand and not just sand but water too because of the rain yesterday. And the sand playing culture was very different compared to Singapore. We told ds1 that he can play at the massive playground but he said,” no ummi the playground is not as fun as playing in sand!” he kicked off his shoes and dove right into sand and water 💦 not caring about being clean.

*look at all the birds in the trees!

We took the MRT from Da’an station (Red Line) all the way to Zhongshan station. It was around 10-15 minutes walk to our apartment.

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Taiwan with kids

14 Mar

Airlines

We chose to travel by scoot for the first time. Nothing fantastic or special for kids. Service was quite ok in general, nothing to complain but again nothing that makes it stand out from the rest of the budget airlines. I realised though we had quite comfortable leg room compared to other budget room even full airlines. I also liked the windows where you can adjust light from outside. I liked that they didn’t bug us or pick on us since we had kids.

Arriving at Taoyuan airport

Immigration was a breeze though the officer looked at us differently when she figured we booked an airbnb instead of a hotel.

Transport

We bought an easycard which has a non-refundable deposit of 100. We got NT$ 400 each. It’s free for kids. The person at the service centre was very polite and kind, served us with a smile.

We took the MRT from Taoyuan Airport Mrt station. It’s quite a walk before you reach the train. The station and train pretty much reminded us MRT in Singapore. There is an express train as well

Taipei with kids

9 Mar

I got the why Taiwan? Alot when I told friends I was heading to Taiwan for holiday. Most of my friends said that they and most people they knew went to Taiwan mainly for food so like what ate you Muslim people gonna have in Taiwan. 

I nervously shared that I’ve done my homework and it seems Taipei is pretty Muslim friendly. You know what else? They even have hotels with halal food to cater to Muslim tourist. 

Another thing about Taiwan is that they are quite tourists oriented so they have tourist information counter at many places. Unlike other ‘Chinese speaking countries’ the Taiwanese can speak generally good English. 

What I encountered when researching for my trip was the lack of information for Muslim families with young children travelling to Taiwan. There were loads of information on Taiwan fit families with kids, singles and couples. 

So what I decided to do is blog more details of my Taipei trip to Insyallah help others like us. 

I wish I had more of this

4 Feb

And I’m also glad I that I didn’t do anything to make it disappear. 

DS1 imagination. I had the opportunity to send and fetch him from school when he shared with me what happened in school. I saw the look of pure happiness on his face when he saw me outside the glass door of his school. He said “I can see some men working outside” while we were riding the bus home. “there they’re on the road” and “they’re so cute ummi” 

While we were walking home, I told him that his grandpa, who is his favourite person in my in-laws place, was not at home. He said “there datok, there on the wall there!” I laughed as we made our way home…

In the past I used to pretend we were lying down in our tents and watching the stars in the sky while we were in one of the rooms at home. It’s so fun he loves all the pretend play. 

NZ:Takaka, Tasman 

27 Dec

I woke up bright and early to do my prayers. It’s bright by 6am and fajr is around 4am. 

I had some time to myself to explore the garden in front of our cottage, take in the fresh air and enjoy the melodious sounds of the birds chirping until the cold (13 degrees) got to me. 

I layered up, got dressed then headed out to town to get groceries and fuel up. The fuel tank was empty! 

When I arrived home, ds2 was just stirring and slowly waking up. I layered him and ds1 who woke up soon after and out we went to explore the garden.

We walked barefoot on the damp grass, ds1 brought his toys to play in the grass, we watched birds. Ds1 enjoyed it running in and out of the cottage. 

Cooked some fish soup for us all and porridge for the baby after I sertu the kitchen. We headed out after our lunch.

The kids were having a nice time playing and having their breakfast while I watched them from the kitchen window, while I was cooking. We felt right at home in this airbnb in Rangiheata, Takaka. 

Yuriko and Michael were wonderful hosts who gave us our space and freedom as they went on their own work in their garden and farm. Now I wished I took more photos of their place; very nicely decorated with flowers, trees, gardens, gravel driveways, a goat and 5 black chickens. 

Well it’s a balance between enjoying the experience and being busy recording the beautiful experience and I chose the former in the essence of time. 

We headed out for a bit to Waikoropupu springs, tata beach and pohara beach.

Ummi don’t go to work

21 Dec

Now it’s the holidays, the first part of the holiday was spent in NZ and we’ve been having around 3-4 days work week for the rest of the year.

Ds2 has been more clingy of late, not wanting me to go to work. Yesterday, he was asleep when I left for work and boy was he disappointed when he woke up. 

Today, he rushed out of the room while I was praying subh, went back to bed yo lie then. I think he was afraid we have left for work again. After I changed into work clothes he asked why ummi change?  I asked him what should I wear and he said the purple dress ( home clothes I changed out of). 

He kept asking me to stay and play with him and that he does not want yo study with Emma and that instead he wants to do art n craft. I said we can do a simple craft now but he couldn’t find cardboard. I said I’ll think of some ideas and we’ll do a craft at night. 

He was not really convinced. 

Just as I was about to leave, he carried his father’s work bag and said he was going to work with me. And below is his serious work face.

NZ: Christchurch to Takaka 6-8 hours

15 Dec

​It sounds crazy and it was. I would not recommend driving for more than 3 hours especially if you just arrived in NZ. Takaka was a last minute plan because of the earthquake in NZ on 13 November thus we had just 4 days to assess the situation, check which parts of the itinerary we wanted to change, make cancellations, try to get refund and make new plans. I hate making last minute changes because I didn’t have time to thoroughly think through the plan and check it’s feasibility. We were also driven by fear, we wanted to be as far away as possible from the East Coast where the earthquake affected most. 

I must say though I realised through the last minute frenzy, my and my husband worked well as a team in times of crisis. Alas it was not the best plan. We learn together as well.

We had to stop by at Culvedron to buy groceries as the supermarket near Takaka closes by 6pm. We had some sandwiches and biscuits all the way. Thinking back I wondered how the kids managed to keep still (mostly anyway) throughout the journey. We stopped once more for me to nurse ds2. And then it was 5 hours non-stop from bright sky to darkness (really pitch black) through mountainous terrains and curvy roads. 

I recall wanting to give up because I was so tired and my eyes were begging to rest but I persisted because there were no other choice. 

My kids drifted in and out of sleep while the husband directed me using his map so I know whether we had a straight or curvy stretch if Road ahead of us. 

When we eventually reached at 12am, I collapsed into the warm bed and slept like a baby ( after bathing the kids, layering them up with fleece, gloves and socks, preparing a dinner of tuna and bread for us adults, feeding ds1 cereal).

I don’t know where this photo was taken but landscape is as beautiful as the above photo until it got dark at 9pm.
More photos to come in the next few posts!

Adventure Cove

12 Dec

The only photo we got of the whole gang (my sister in law was the photographer). 

There was something for everyone. Being at a waterpark brought back memories of visiting waterparks such as fantasy island and wild wild wet as a child with my cousins, aunties and uncles. Now it’s time for my kids to visit waterparks with their cousins. They were too young to enjoy the big slides but they had a whole lot of fun at the kids playground which was pretty fun. 

My brave little 3 year old is not so little anymore and he even went on big slides on his own! We started with slides with ummi and ayah then it seems he told his ayah that he wanted to go on his own and did so after I left to change the baby. 

The lazy pool aka adventure pool was great fun as we saw dolphins, stingrays and eagle rays as well as reef fish. 

The fathers did the adventure courses. If the water was not 4 metres deep, I would have bluffed my way and gone to get the adrenaline rush on the adventure course. I have to learn to swim soon otherwise. I think I can swim but not much. 

The mothers dragged Mukhlis to go snorkeling at rainbow reef. Mukhlis initially was excited that he met the heights requirements to go for the snorkeling but after he realised that he was the only kid with the 2 mothers he chickened out. We practically dragged him with us and the poor boy learned the hard way to breathe with snorkel. After a while, he got excited that there were fishes below us. His verdict after snorkeling- not fun. At least he tried and I hope won’t have a phobia of snorkeling. 
To the children’s playground we went till the end of the evening. 

Now I know why the first born inevitably gets more

15 Dec

After having the second child, it’s like you’ve got even lesser time on your hands. Previously, when the baby is having a nap, we take a breather. Now when baby is having a nap, we spend time with the other one.

There was so much to blog about, my dear son’s no. 2 (ds2) milestones and development, beautiful moments with my ds1 and everything in between. We recently made a trip to the neighbouring country which was an adventure to say the least. And I thought travelling by an express bus to Kuala Lumpur would be a breeze with 2 young children, boy was I kidding myself since I wanted to travel so badly.

Now it’s back to work and my ds1 will say this when I bid him my farewell before leaving for work, ” ummi, why do you have to work? Ummi don’t go to work” a question I ask myself everytime but can go away with not answering it. This time, I could feel how inadequate and unconvincing my reasons were.

I also return home during lunch because ds2 doesn’t drink from the bottle yet, which I hope he does soon. It’s heart wrenching to see my ds1 looking at me with a sad look about him, the way he will try to get my attention the whole time I was at home trying to feed his little brother, he’ll turn solemn and quiet when I say I’m leaving back to work. The baby clearly shares his discontentment by staring at me hard as I nurse him.

The sg50 gifts

10 Sep

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Gifts from the posb bag and Kkh bag.

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Gifts from sg50 bag.

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Gifts from ward 84 for exclusively breastfeeding during my stay at Kkh.

Alhamdulilah 🙂